More Than Just Players: These Unsung Heroes of eSports Deserve Love, Too
Whether you're streaming an eSports tournament on Twitch, watching on television, or attending in person, you know that there is a lot of work that goes into putting on these huge events. All eSports fans know that the main attraction is always the players, but its easy to forget just how much manpower it takes to put together any tournament.
From start to finish, there are people at every eSports event working long before the start of the event and behind the scenes on the day to make sure that everything runs as seamlessly as possible for the audience. To honor these people, here's a list (in no particular order) of heroes in eSports who may not be behind the screens, but are just as important in making an event happen.
Another position in eSports that is often overlooked are the coaches. Just because they're not sitting in those fancy ergonomic chairs behind the screens, doesn't mean they don't deserve any of the glory too. Players seem to understand the importance of coaches, but when it comes to the fans, sometimes it seems that their contributions get overlooked. Coaches are very skilled individuals who are veterans of the game. They have to watch all their players screens and make callouts that the players might not see in the heat of the moment. Coaches are just as focused on the game as the players during a big tournament, but often don't get the same appreciation from the fans, so give them some love the next time you're watching an eSports event!
While administrative activities are not one of the most glamorous aspects of the eSports world, coordinators play a critical role in putting on an eSports event as well as making sure the league runs smoothly. Coordinators' responsibilities range from communicating to event organizers to overseeing licenses for tournaments. Many of the day-to-day necessities (as well as long term) for any eSports league fall into the purview of an eSports coordinator. Just because you don't often see them, doesn't mean they're not a big part of the eSports events you enjoy.
3. The event team
The event team arrives to an event long before the spectators arrive and are there long after everyone is gone. Whether you're at a huge stadium for Counter-Strike or a smaller venue for Halo, every chair and table at these events has to be placed there by a person. Basically everything that isn't a permanent part of the venue is part of the event team's job. This includes moving any furniture that's already there to set up for the event, loading and unloading trucks, hanging banners, and setting up information tables. Additionally, every vendor present including team gear and food is usually coordinated by the event director. It's a big job that often times goes unnoticed. Next time you're at a tournament or streaming online, take a moment to appreciate how big of an endeavor it is to set up (and break down!) an eSports event.
4. eSports writers
I might be a little biased here, but journalists and other writers who cover eSports are people who love the game and have a passion for eSports. Whether it's for the news or for social media or even press releases for upcoming events, eSports writers work very hard to bring you the content about your favorite games. We may not be doing the heavy lifting that the event team does or have as much at stake as the coaches, but we still make an effort watch a whole event, take notes, and bring all the exciting details of the tournament to the fans.
5. Peripheral developers
We all know that the pros don't use the standard controllers and hardware that come with our consoles or local stores. At an eSports event, players use special controllers or gaming mice/keyboards as well as state-of-the-art headsets made by the best peripheral makers in the gaming world. The people who design these accessories and provide the support for them need them to be at their best before they make it to the stage to be used in a tournament. It's an exciting thing if an accessory you made is picked up by professional players or leagues. If the peripheral developers don't put their best work out before a big event, the players and the fans won't have the best eSports experience they possibly could.
7. The production crew
Arguably, the biggest part of any eSports event is the production crew. These are the people who set up all the technical equipment, set up the stream, and make sure that all the visuals and sounds are correct. Basically anything you see on a monitor or hear from a speaker at an eSports event happens because of the production crew. They are responsible for everything from the players' monitors to the lighting. Even the professional images and videos you see on social media during and after the event come from this team. Often times, it is a job that's taken for granted. It's easy to grumble and complain when there are delays in any live stream or event, but the production crew is often the first to get blamed for these problems and has all the responsibility to get them fixed.
Let's give them a round of applause, shall we?
It's easy to get swept up in the hype of the awesome narratives of the teams and players, but it's easy to forget that there is so much that goes into making eSports as great as it is for the fans. Just because the people in the aforementioned positions aren't the ones under the spotlights, I think we can all agree that they deserve a little more love from us fans.